Professor James Yood outlines the civic argument for deaccession at the DIA.
Professor James Yood outlines the civic argument for deaccession at the DIA.
August 14

Deaccessioning in Detroit

In “Deaccessioning in the Civic Context,” posed August 14 on Visual Art Source, SAIC professor James Yood (Art History) weighs in on the proposed auctioning of works at the Detroit Institute of the Arts to defray the city’s $18 billion deficit. Yood characterizes deaccession as “a kind of recycling” routinely employed by museums around the world to strengthen their collections. “Since that city is in bankruptcy, in fiscal extremis, and as citizens and businesses and tourists are all going to be asked to help, to make sacrifices, why shouldn’t its art museum?” Yood Argues. “I hear no one suggesting that the DIA’s entire collection should be sent tomorrow to Sotheby’s for immediate dispersal (though such an act could theoretically bring in more than $18 billion—what’s the opening bid for their Diego Rivera murals?). But if your community is dying you have to consider what you can do to help it survive.”